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Ylagan gets ultimatum to appear in court

19 January 2017

By Vir B. Lumicao

The Small Claims Tribunal has given employment agency owner Ester P Ylagan an ultimatum to appear in court personally at the next hearing on March 30, or it would start resolving the claims against her.

Adjudicator Anthony Chow was in a good mood on Jan 12 when he tackled the complaints filed by 37 claimants, the third batch chasing Ylagan for money they had allegedly paid her for promised jobs in Britain and Canada.

The adjudicator asked Ylagan’s representative, a certain Miss Leung, why the defendant was not in court but the woman replied that she had  only been sent the documents.

Chow said that showed Leung had no communication with Ylagan, the reason why he disallowed her from representing the defendant in the previous hearing on Dec 8.

The adjudicator said despite requiring Ylagan to show proof she was too ill to attend court and that she was in the Philippines, he had not got any evidence confirming these. He said there was no reason to consolidate the cases.

As for the Ylagan camp’s bid to transfer the cases to District Court, Chow said all he was asking her was to show a letter of confirmation of engagement from a solicitors’ firm.

“All the claimants have to do now is to prove their case,” the adjudicator said.

“I give the defendant one last chance to confirm all these within the next 28 days.”

He said Ylagan must confirm that she is in the Philippines, that she is too ill to attend the hearings and, on the next hearing date of March 30, present a solicitor firm’s confirmation of engagement letter.

He said if Ylagan still failed to comply with his requirements, he would start acting on the claims.
“I want the defendant to confirm or give proof that the case needed to be transferred, but I won’t be transferring the cases to District Court,” Chow said, before telling the claimants: “But that doesn’t mean you have already won your case.”

The adjudicator told the claimants each one of them must make a witness statement within the next 28 days and prepare all evidence to support their claims.

These would  include audio and video recordings, which they must submit in MP3 and DVD formats and accompany with transcripts.

They should also get their witnesses ready.

The claimants must also prepare a written chronological account of when, where, why and how the case started and who they had dealt with as these would be needed in determining whether the case should be transferred to the District Court or remain in the tribunal.

“Everything depends on whether the defendant and her representative can do all the requirements, then I will try to consider whether the case will be heard in District Court,” Chow said.
Chow adjourned the hearing to March 30.

Early in the hearing, Chow dismissed five cases because the claimants failed to show up and threw out a sixth one because the claimant’s authorization letter appointing a representative did not reach the tribunal on time.

The adjudicator also stressed that he asked the Mission’s Edwina Santoyo to represent all the claimants so he would speak to only one representative.

On Feb 2, another big group of claimants will appear for the second time in the Tribunal for the hearing of their claims against Ylagan.

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